For the third time in series history, the Big 8 Late Model Series returned to Hawkeye Downs Friday night for “Clash at the Downs III” presented by McGrathAuto.com. And for a third straight time, fans in attendance saw a show they won’t soon forget.

Rosemount Minnesota’s Joe Neisius, along with inaugural ‘Clash at the Downs’ winner Caleb Adrian, started on the front row for the 48 lap feature. While Neisius held his ground early, Adrian was able to make the pass for the lead just three laps in.

Adrian held the lead unchallenged until last year’s event winner, Michael Bilderback, made his way forward to battle the leader. As the two battled side-by-side for multiple laps, Alburnett, Iowa’s Brody Willett stormed forward to meet them, looking for a piece of the front as well.

The laps clicked off as the three leaders jockeyed for the top positions. Bilderback eventually slipped back leaving Adrian and Willett to battle for the lead. Both Adrian and Willett have already captured weekly feature wins at Hawkeye Downs and have had their share of close calls already in the weekly series.

The battle for the lead continued to be strong, as neither driver backed out as lapped traffic occurred, going three-wide and making contact several times.

Finally, with seven laps to go, more contact was made, and for the second year in a row, Adrian found himself in the turn one wall. After the incident, Adrian drove his damaged car away, eventually pulling next to Willett and finally spun Willett on the backstretch under caution. Adrian was retired for the night, regulated to 25th place,  while Willett would go to the tail end of the lead lap, finishing the race in tenth.

When the dust settled, Neisius came out above the chaos and was able to held off both Griffin McGrath and Bilderback to win the “Clash at the Downs”. Tim Sargent ended the race in fourth position, while Farmington Minnesota’s Ryan Kamish rounded out the top five.

“Clash at the Downs III” presented by McGrathAuto.com
Race Results

1. Joe Neisius   Rosemount, MN
2. Griffin McGrath   Cedar Rapids, IA
3. Michael Bilderback   South Beloit, IL
4. Tim Sargent   South Beloit, IL
5. Ryan Kamish   Farmington, MN
6. Jeremy Miller   Rockford, IL
7. Justin Neisius   Eagan, MN
8. Brian Gibson   Walford, IA
9. Wayne Freimund   West Allis, WI
10. Brody Willett   Alburnett, IA
11. Mark Lamoreaux   Bloomington, MN
12. Brad Osborn   Janesville, IA
13. Matt Lundberg   Rockford, IL
14. Greg Borchardt   Prior Lake, MN
15. Jacob Zellmer   Burlington, WI
16. Jerry Mueller   Richfield, WI
17. Scott Siems   Cedar Rapids, IA
18. Tyler Brown   Carol Stream, IL
19. Mike Lloyd   Davis, IL
20. Mark Greb   Coralville, IA
21. Jacob Vanoskey   Hartford, WI
22. Jared Duda   St Michael, MN
23. Chad Siems   Shellsburg, IA
24. Tyler Hromadka   Brookfield, WI
25. Caleb Adrian   Walcott, IA
26. Tyler Kingery   Prior Lake, MN
27. Cody Kippenhan   Ypsilanti, MI

Preliminary Winners: C Siems, Mueller, Neisius, Adrian
Fast Qualifier: McGrath
Entries: 27 Big 8 Late Models

Current Big 8 Late Model Series Points
(Top 10)

1. Michael Bilderback   240
2. Jeremy Miller   213
3. Tim Sargent   205
4. Brody Willett   171
5. Wayne Freimund   149
6. Jerry Mueller   133
7. Jacob Zellmer   130
8. Ryan Kamish   128
9. Griffin McGrath   120
(TIE) Tyler Brown   120

 

Big 8 Series Press Release. Photo Credit: Guy Adams

Neisius Claims First Big 8 Win At ‘The Downs’